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The twenty positions offered in this article are taken from my card-index of exercises. They are comparatively easy, but elegant, and I'm sure you'll have to like them. You don't have to calculate long, branching variations in them – it's enough to find the correct tactical idea. The only problem is that in most cases the solution is quite unusual and doesn't jump out at you. The purpose of the training is to develop combinational vision and inventiveness. I have divided all the material into five short tests with four positions in each.
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Test One The first exercises are the simplest, for warming up. The solution, as a rule, consists of just one strong move.
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Kxd1 Qxf1+ 21...Re2 Qc1+ 41. Groningen.Qxc5 dc .ed Nd2+) and deflecting the rook from the sixth rank (36.Qxd5 Rc5 52.B? Test One Solutions 1.Qh4+ Kg7 Draw. But taking with the rook leads to a knight fork..Ke2 Nxe3 Black has a decisive advantage...Qxd5 Rc5 52. Having calculated this variation.Nxe3 Qxa4) 22. Kxd1 h6 28.Ka3!). 3. on which White replies not 25.Kd1 Qg4+! with the subsequent 25.Qd2 Nd3.Kf5+?! Kxh6 51..Kc7 23. The impressive blow 35.Qxd5+ 51.Ne3 39.Qg4+! 24.Nd5!!-+ combines in itself the ideas of covering the d-file (36.Qxh3 Black obtains many pawns for the material. or an immediate 36.Qxf3+ 24. Hungary.a3+ Kxa3 37.Qe1 Rd8+ 22. considerably complicating his opponent's task) 25.Qd6+ Rc5 40.Rxd1 Nc2+ 21. 2.Kf2 Ne4+!. 22. Another fighting unit must be included in the attack: the second knight or even the king.Rf3 follows 23. the rook and the f3 knight can't succeed without outside help.Nf1 the answer can be either 36. On 36..Qxd5+! 51. Aagaard-Kempinski. so useless is 50. 50. 1990 Three black pieces: the queen.Nd2 Rxd2+! 23.Ne4 Rxf3-+. a4 d3...Qg5+ Kh7 52. 23..Rxd5 allows the lethal 36. 1998 Black's major pieces are stuck on the queenside and apparently unable to help the king.. and Black won. but 25. Ka2 Qd3) 38.Ng5 Rf6 27. and Black wins. Jacob Aagaard decided to force perpetual check by means of 50..Ka2 Nd1 White resigned.Rxe3 On 23.gf Nxd1 (stronger than 24.Nxf7 Ng3+! 26..Nxf1?!..Ra2 (38.Ne4!.Kxd2 Qxg2+ 24. Lahtinen-Palkovi. In the variation 20.. Piket-Ernst.Nd6+ (22.Qe4? is refuted by means of 50. The game ended like this: 36.ed Nd2+ 39.... But the situation turns out not to be that simple: the carefree 50..Nf4 with the idea of Ne1-d3.Rh8!! The bishop is under attack.Qxc5 dc (or 52.Nxf7 Rf8 26...Rf3 Rd8-+..... 2003 19. 20.Ne1 37..Rd1+!! A brilliant deflection of one of two white pieces. I'll show you a few more moves.bc) 53..Ra6+ Kb4 38. But meanwhile a win (and with it the achievement of a grandmaster norm) was close at hand. Apeldoorn..
Nxd7? Rc1+ 24.. Test Two The exercises offered in this test are about the same as in the first one. 50.Bxd4 Nd5 34.53. B? .Qh1! Bh5 52.Rd4 Rxd4 33..Bxe2? Qxd1+ 24.. only the path to the goal will be slightly longer..Qg3 Qf1+!! Any capture leads to mate: 33.Rc2 51.Nb6!. will complicate your task just a little.Rxf1 Ne2. Short-Miles British Championship.Rg8+ Kxg8 52.Kxh8 51. The outcome of the contest could have been different if Ian Nepomniachtchi had noticed an impressive combination.Kxf1 Rh1 or 33.Qf8 +!! Rxf8 (23..Kh6.. Brighton.Rxe8+-. which looks very similar.Rxc1 Rxc1. preserving his solid advantage. 4. Probably many readers were reminded of the episode that has already become a classic from the duel between two top British grandmasters.. Evgeny Najer won this game. What he didn't see was an impressive refutation: 23.Nxd7+-.g4! 32.. then again. which he subsequently made the best of.Kxg6).Nxd7+) 24.. 50.. 23.... and subsequently the whole tournament.Ne2! (23.. Bg6 51. 31.Bxd1 Rc1). Which.Qb5? 32.a3?!.Kxf8 24. foreseeing the dangerous counter-blow 22. The grandmaster turned down the provocative 22. Najer-Nepomniachtchi. and otherwise the mate can't be defended: 50. Moscow. 1984 Nigel Short chose the restrained 22.Kh6 (or 52. 2006 There followed 31.Rxh5.Qb3+-.
....Qxf3! 25..Qe8+ Kg7 4.Qf4! (threatens 3.Ne3!! 24. preparing a mating attack.Qd4 Bxd4+ 6.Re3!?) 8.Nxf3!. Kiev.Rxh2 Ng3+ 4.Nxc6 In the event of 24.B? B? W? Test Two Solutions 5. 2.Rh2. or 24.. A rare picture: a rook and two knights have invaded the opponent's camp. cd Rxe1+ 7.Kg1 Bb6+ 5. But ending the game more quickly was 2.. ....f3 good are either 24.Rxh2 Ng3+ 6.. 1944 (variation from the game) 23.Rxa1 Qxh2+! 5..Qf1+) 3. 6..Kf2 Nf1 (7.Qxh2+ 3.Rxh2 Ng3+ 4.Qe4 – the same combination led to a rook endgame with two extra pawns for Black: 2.Qxa1 Qxh2+! 3. correspondence 1994-99 1..Ra1!! A beautiful deflection of the queen. Tolush-Flohr.Qxe4 or 3.Rh1 Rd1 9....Kg1 Bb6+ 5..Kg1 Bb6+.Nf3! with the unavoidable 25. Stern-Sanakoev.Nxf3 Nxf3.Re3 Bxe3 No help was 2.Rxf1 Rxd4-+. and with a full board White's pieces are unable to save themselves from a very simple mate... 24...
2.Qg3+ Kh7 30.Re1+ 31. Test Three The "spirit" of the exercises in this test is the circumstance that their solutions are associated with non-standard quiet moves...Nh7.Kh2! Qe5 32. Omar Ibrahim-Ibarra.d5!! Forces him to cover the fifth rank.. B? B? .Kxg3 In the event of 2.Nxd4! 2.Nf5+! gf 29...Ra3 because of the threat of 34. Cuba. Schmidt-Bronstein. USSR 1970 In the game nothing interesting happened: 27.Qf3 Rd8 29. so White resigned..Qxd4 Rxa3 3. 27.Rd1? Rd5 28.Qc7 Kg7 33.Kxh4 Nf5+ 4.Rd1 Qh4 White is left a piece down..Rxe1 Qxg3+ 33.Rb1 (33... where a warm welcome has been prepared for him. But happiness was so possible. In both cases Black isn't to be envied..Rxe8 Rxe8 32..Qe8 31..Qh4+!! 3.. 27.Ree8) or the queen: 30.Kxg3 (there's no time for 33. as the rook and the c4 knight are under fire..Rd1). And now an impressive queen sacrifice by Black lures the enemy king into his camp. 8.Rb8 Black is saved from mate only by sacrificing material: 30.cd 28.. 2003 1.7..Qd2 Nc4 Draw.Kg5 Nf8! with the unavoidable 5.Qd3 Ne5 30.
. Black preserved his obvious advantage. apparently "to nowhere". After 29.Rc8+.. which is completely hopeless. Gomes-Neto. Nimzowitsch called "mysterious". tactical ideas. Rf8+ Kd7 31.Rad1 (25.Rxf4 Qe3) 30. but unsound combination: 26.Rc8+!) 32.Kb2. 1942 . 1973 Playing 24.Kg8!? 25.Rxd6+! ed (31. and Black resigned The outcome of the duel would have been the reverse if the one playing Black had found an amazing quiet move.Qxc8+ Kxc8 29. However. 26. Attempting to defend the knight with the move 29. Rio de Janeiro.Rxc3 can be parried only by giving up the queen: 27.Qe3? hastened the denouementx 30. Ludek Pachman found a way to end the game immediately.. to a closed file.gh? g6-+) 25... In his examples (and also in mine – see School of Chess Excellence 3 – Strategy".B? B? Test Three Solutions 9. The threats 27. Domnitz-Pachman.h3 Re8.hg 26.bc Ba2..Rxf4 the additional material guarantees White an advantage.Bb5+! ab 29...Rh8!! White resigned. of course.Nxa2.Qg7+ Kc6 33.Ba2!!-+ The bishop is unassailable: 27. South Africa.. even by such an unusual method... But in this case the solution can be found in concrete. Such rook moves.. 2002 In the game followed the provocative.Nxa2 Nxd3+ 28. Kobese-Van Tonder.. but the battle continued.Rxd3 Rfxc2+. 10..... Netanya... Qe3+ and 27. the chapter "Mysterious Rook Moves") the motive was purely prophylactic: the need to prevent an important pawn advance by the opponent.Qf8+ Kd7 32. as he has no defence to the threat of 25.Qxh6+ Kg8.Bf7 30.Rxc3? 27.g6 26... Qg7! (worse is 30. It was refuted by the route 28. 24.Qf8+ Kd7 28...Kc7 32.. 11.Bg6 31.
.hg Rg8 4. It's no less important to foresee and defuse the impressive surprises that your opponent has prepared in advance..Re1 (31..Be3 Ra2 33... Shofman-Ilivitsky..The pin of the f3 knight seriously compromises White's position.g5?! 3..Nbd2 g4!-+. Nbd2 gh+ 7.Nxe4. W? B? Is it possible to take on c2? .Ra1+.gh g5 is unpreventable.. Georgy Ilivitsky solves the problem by using a combination.. Sverdlovsk..gh Rg8! with the subsequent 3. The game ended like this: 2.h4 h6 5. For example.Rxe4 Ra8!!-+ The cold-blooded transfer of the rook from one open line to another creates a multitude of threats: 30. Ra1+ 31. 28..Qxf3 gh+ White resigned.. 30..Nh4+!! 2. But brilliant moves are sometimes made not only in the attack.Nb1! hg 6. 12. The question is only how best to exploit this circumstance.Qxf3 32. and Black's material advantage is enough for victory. but also in defense.Nb1 Nh4+! 3.g5-+.g5 Rxb2..Bxe4! 29. then 30...Nh4+! 3.Qxe4. as no way to quickly get rid of it is apparent.Ne1 Rxe1+) 31.h4 Qxe4 31.Rg1 Bxf3+ (sufficient is also 4..gh g5 4.Qxe4 Nxe4 32.Rg8!!-+ Another "mysterious rook move"! The threat of 2.c3 Nh4+! 3.Kxg1 Bxf3-+) 5.gh+ 5. Less precise is 2..Bxf6.. Further followed: 30.. 1.gh g5 4.. 1945 The pin on the f6 knight apparently prevents the exploitation of the obvious weakness of the e4 point.Kf1 Rxg1+ 6. 30. Black found the best path to his goal. White resigned. Test Four In all the previous exercises you had to find a win..Rxa1 gf..Kh1. 2.. If 30. Black could have changed the move order: 1.
And here any pawn capture is forcibly refuted. I. But meanwhile a drawing outcome can be forced immediately..Qf2!! Qxf2 (1. and wasn't afraid of 25.Kh6!! It becomes clear that White is powerless to prevent a stalemating combination. Pheling-Rutshi. from which it's already impossible to defend.Qxg3 Qxg1+!! 4...gh Rh2+! 5.Rc4!!. 2.Qh6+-.Qd3 d1Q! 3..Qxb2) 26... Thipsay-Ivell.Rec8.. ..Rxc2?..Kxh2 – stalemate.B? W? Test Four Solutions 13. 1984 1. He hadn't taken into account another impressive blow.R2xc4 26. Biel. Zaitsev – from the game Ermolin-Petryaev..Re4!! Qxe4 25.Qf1? Qe5-/+ White has to look for salvation in a difficult queen endgame a pawn down.ef – stalemate) 2.h6!?.Rc6!? or 23.Rxc8+ Black resigned.Kxg1 Rxg2+!!. А) In the event of 23..Qxd1 Nothing is changed by 3... 15. 14...Qxf6 (25.Qxc2? the answer is 24. Edinburgh.. 3. but Black had counted on 24.. 1985 An unclear position arose with 23.Qxh3+! 4. 1.Qh6? Qxf6!.Re4!.. 25. 1971 In the event of 1. 25.. B) The situation is slightly more complicated with the move chosen in the game 23.g3+ with unavoidable stalemate. Then came the immediate blow 24..
Qf5+-.d4? the answer is 1... but it isn't clear how he can defend from the threatened mate. although they don't branch off too much – but the point is still to find a beautiful idea. 1932 White is a rook up..Qxc7+? Bxc7 2. Lucarelli-Carra.16. W? W? B? .h7 Be5-+. The idea of the rook sacrifice has become clear: his opponent's pieces are positioned on the second rank in the wrong order (the queen is behind the rook).Rb1 Bd6 5.Ka1 Qe2 4.d4 Qe2?! White also preserved his large advantage with other replies: 2.Qf5+or 2. No help is 1. Bologna. 3.Qe2.. 1. and as a result the attack has run into a dead end..Bd6 3..Bc1 Black resigned. Here you have to calculate variations.Rg2!? 3.Rd2!! Rxd2 2. Test Five The last test is probably the most complicated one. On 1.
.Rhf1! Ng6 30.Rxh6+!) 3.Bc8 25.Rxh7 Qg1+ 30.. 45. 1987 Check on c2 is useless for now – first he has to deflect the enemy queen.. 27. Liberzon-Belov. Mieses-Janowski.hg Rg8 26..Qc3+ (47.Qd2 makes it possible to escape a combinational rout..Nd1!!+-.... Paris.Nxf6 gf (2.Rxa2 is refuted by 2. Debrecen.R7xh4!) 5.Qf7 Rf8 28. Rxh7+! Nxh7 3..Qd4+ f6-+) .Rxg7 26.Rxf5 Bb4 27.Rhe8! with an unavoidable mate... 1. making it possible to develop a mating attack on the king with just two rooks.Kxh7 3. R. But otherwise White obtains a decisive advantage.hg Rg8 29.Qxe5 Very bad is 44.Nh5+-.Qg7! It becomes clear that taking the queen is bad: 24.Qe5!?) 46. 26.... and still Jacques Mieses boldly eats it. 29.Qe7 Black resigned....Rh8+ Ke7 6.Bxf4 ef 33. 23. 1.Rxg7 28. but after 44. 43.Rxh7 (threatens 5.Rf6+-..Rxg7 29.ef Black obtained a decisive advantage. For example. 24.Rxe1+ Kd7 7..Qe8+ or 2.Nxf6+).Qe6 Nf4 32.Kf8 (4.Nf5 Bxf5 And here no joy comes from 25.Rxh7 Qc7 28.. The retreat 44.Rxh7 Qxg5 (45. 18. invading on f5 with his knight. 1957 (variation from the game)...Qe1!! A deflecting queen sacrifice that must be accepted (1.Qxd5 Qxf4+. Gauglitz-Horvath.Bxe1 2.Rh8+ Kg7 47.. 28.Qxg6!! Rdg8 24.Rh8+-. Moscow...Qd7 Rd8 31..Kb1 The queen could have been pulled out from under the attack: 27.bc Nf8 Or 28.Rf7! Qd8 31.Rxh7 Qe8 32.Bxc3 Beautiful is 27.Rxh7 Qd8 27.Rxg7 25.W? Test Five Solutions 17.R1h7) 4.h6 3.hg Rg8 27..e5!! 44. 1900 The g6-pawn seems to be poisoned.Rgh1 Kg8 4.R5xf4 Qc5 34...Rh8+ Kg7 6. Qh5.Rf8! Qc5 36.hg Rg8 30.Rf7 Qg5 35..Bh4 5. 19.
g4! Ne4 (natural) 9. But it's too soon to stop calculating. but this isn't the best move..Kg3 Rg1+ 46. Winants-Guris.. And it is found. which in the game was controlled by the bishop: 6.....Qh4..Re1 h6!?) 5. and not with the bishop? The fact of the matter is that after 4.Qxf6 6.f3 Kg8 or 6... 4. 20. 1.Nxe5!! Bxe5 2.Bb2+ Qd4 8.Rd8 +! Black continues the battle. 3.Bxe6 Qxe6 8.Qe7 You want to check with the bishop automatically.Bc1! With his rook sacrifice White has opened the a1-h8 diagonal and his bishop is ready to seize it.Qc3+!! Rf6 5.Rxa7+ Kxh8 49.Qxd8 7.Kg7! 7..Qxc5!! The cold-blooded capture immediately clarifies the situation. Luc Winants found a forcing and impressive mate. ... If 9.Qxe6 It seems that Black has miscalculated: his queen is under attack.Kh3 Be6+! (Black doesn't have any other sensible checks) 47. escaping with the king to the h6 square.47.Bb2+?! Rf6 5..Qd3. although it's not very simple.Bxd4#.Rg8#) 7.Bxf6+! (unclear is 5.Bb2# But why must you capture on f6 with the queen. and moreover the queen has to protect the h3-c8 diagonal. 44.f6 48.Qc3 Ne4. White's queen and rook are under fire. and White resigned. as it significantly complicates White's task. Belgium. 47. 6.. White continues the attack by the route 8.Qxf6+!! Qxf6 6.. 6.Rd8+! Qf8 (6.. A combination absolutely must be found..Qh3+ Qh5-+.Rxe5! Qxe5 3.Rg8+ Kh6. and as before he has no checks. He couldn't manage to do it all at the same time. 1992 All of White's pieces are exceptionally active. while his partner hasn't finished his development yet.Qc2+ 45.Qe3 Be6 7.Kg7 7. for example..
g5+ Kh5 14.Kc8!!) also had introductory moves.Very good tests. an excellent article!! Ankit from India .Qe3+ Ng5 11. [ChessCafe Home Page] [Book Review] [Columnists] [Endgame Study] [The Skittles Room] [Archives] [Links] [Online Bookstore] [About ChessCafe." You may be pleased to note that Mr. Inc.S. I hope your work opens the doors for further appreciation of chess studies and leads other authors to offer similar works.Bxd3 fg 14.Thank you for publishing your wonderful Studies for Practical Players... "ChessCafe.I remember that the famous study by the Sarychev brothers (1. All Rights Reserved. T.. . Beasley and Mr. especially Test Five. either after 13. or with 13.com are greatly valued and appreciated.com®" is a registered trademark of BrainGamz. which no one today knows about.Kxh1 Nxf2+ 12. Endgame Magic. from the USA .Kg2 Nxd3. ". Then again.Rxa5 White preserves a large advantage. In regard to the comment in your book. Inc. Comment on this month's column via our Contact Page! Pertinent responses will be posted below daily.then 10.Rxa8 Kg5 16.com] [Contact Us] © 2009 BrainGamz.Kg2 Qh1+! 11. Readers' Responses Peter from the USA . Whitworth appreciate the preceding moves and included these moves in the appendix of their book..Be2.Bf5 Bxf5 15. His relatively better chance is the exchanging combination 9.Qa1+ 10. and you don't envy Black's king. Your efforts at ChessCafe.As always.Bxd3 Kg4.